BY ATHLAI TATENDA MDZUNGAIRI
KWEKWE residents have lodged a complaint with mayor Angelina Kasipo over late COVID-19 contact tracing by health authorities, which has resulted in more family members getting infected at home.
This came out last Friday during an online meeting chaired by Kasipo, where residents interacted with her on different issues.
Residents told the mayor that contact tracing was taking long, adding that removal of dead bodies was also taking long as well as disinfection of premises, a development they said was triggering a surge in infections.
Kwekwe was the first city in the country where the deadly Indian Delta variant of COVID-19 was detected.
In response, Kasipo said council delays in conducting contact tracing and disinfection of premises were caused by shortage of resources, especially transport.
“After removal of dead bodies by undertakers or the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), council moves in to disinfect the premises. Council, however, has a transport shortage, which makes things difficult for our teams,” she said.
The city’s COVID-19 taskforce chairperson Vitalis Kwashira said burials and funerals were now overwhelming council staff, adding that despite the challenges, they were conducting contact tracing.
He said the taskforce would try to assist council with resources.
“Council is getting overwhelmed, but as a taskforce, we are still searching for means to assist council to conduct contact tracing. The rise in the number of deaths needs more vehicles and fuel to ferry corpses for burials,” Kwashira said.
He encouraged the Kwekwe community to get vaccinated to curb further deaths from the respiratory virus.
“We have done programmes to inform Kwekwe residents on how to prevent themselves from COVID-19. The problem is that most Kwekwe residents are becoming complacent and are not wearing face masks, or following the World Health Organisation preventive protocols. This has resulted in the surge in infections,” Kwashira said.